September 10, 2001

"Good days, bad days. Up days, down days. Sad days, happy days--but never a boring day on this job. You do what God has called you to do. You show up, you put one foot in front of another, you get on the rig and you do the job, which is a mystery and a suprise. You have no idea when you get on that rig, no matter how big the call, no matter how small, you have no idea what God's calling you to do.
"You love this job. We all do. What a blessing that is. A difficult, difficult job, and God calls you to it, and he gives you a love for it, so that a difficult job will be well done."
-Father Mychal Judge

Father Judge was killed the following day, Sept 11, 2001.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


When one hears a phrase like "the ensuing battle", it conjures up images of knightly duels, clashing steel and heroism. That's if this particular battle occurs anywhere but the portion of town we affectionately refer to as The North End. It's a genetic Bermuda Triangle if you will. For reasons that can neither be explained nor altered, if you, being a mild manner human being of "normal" lineage, move to the north end, a genetic transformation occurs rendering you to a helpless state of white trash.

That was the state of existence in which we found our two patients today. Their quarrel, their battle was over something so precious, so emotionally consuming that all reason was left by the wayside. I will change the names of these gentlemen to protect the inbred and the not yet intellectually violated.
Billy Bob felt that the broken down, two wheeled, rusted out '78 Chevy Van was his and his foe, Cletus, also laid claim to said gem. A duel of words simply was not enough to defend the virtue of this heap, so they went to their arms of choice. For Billy Bob it was the putty knife and for Cletus, the coffee pot. Rather unconventional, I know, but these men of lore were pitched in battle, fighting like warrior poets.

The aftermath was a laceration/stabbing wound on the top of Cletus' head since a putty knife will only penetrate so far into a skull. Billy Bob had his last tooth knocked out. The things men will do for love and country.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lortab and Listerine

I really miss my time in Bethel some days. We had such great friends and the community was great. BFD was my first paid position as a firefighter and what a great experience it turned out to be.

Another aspect of village life that I miss is the nut jobs. We had people possessed with demons, suffering from complete exhaustion after attempting to exterminate the bugs coming out of their carpet (for 4 days), and even a man who thought that if the battery in his phone died, his heart would stop beating.

Also in abundance were the plain old drunk and stupid. Today brought me back to that time when we went to assist a gentleman who had taken more than his prescribed amount of Lortab. Not a sin in its own right, who am I to judge his pain. It was the Listerine chaser that put over that proverbial edge.

For those of you who may not know, Bethel is a damp village. This means you can consume alcohol, but you can't buy or sell alcoholic beverages in town. This lead to people looking for alternate means to get their booze. Listerine for instance. Also on the list are Lysol (gently filtered through a pristine piece of white bread), extracts like vanilla and root beer, and lastly perfume, which knocks you out AND gets all the guys-not always a good combination.

That's why this call brought back that flood of memories. It's been such a long, long time since I've been able to smell the minty fresh breath of an alcoholic looking for that certain something. That certain something left this guy unable to walk. He was awake and relatively alert, but could get up off the road where he apparently was dropped off by his girlfriend.

He didn't want any help other than to get to his bed to sleep it off, so we obliged and propped him up against the wall of his apartment.

Sure miss those good ol' days of Bethel.